Just over a month after confirming he will be staying with the Tech 3 Racing squad in 2014, British rider Danny Kent has dropped a bombshell by confirming he will quit the Mistral 610 project at the end of the current season.
MCN understands the 19-year-old is heading back to the Moto3 world championship next season and is looking likely to join the vastly improved Mahindra project after Efren Vazquez signed a 2014 deal with Racing Team Germany.
News of the ‘amicable’ split was confirmed in a short Tech 3 statement this evening and comes just a few weeks after Kent’s 2014 deal with the French squad was confirmed during his home round at Silverstone.
Kent won two out of the last four Moto3 races in 2012 before making the step into the ultra-competitive Moto2 category with Herve Poncharal’s Tech 3 Racing Moto2 outfit.
But he has struggled to make the transition to the heavier and more powerful Mistral 610 machine and is currently lying in a lowly 22nd position in the overall rankings with a best finish of 12th in Brno.
Tech 3 signed German Marcel Schrotter only last weekend at the Motorland Aragon track in Spain and the team’s statement made it clear he was due to pair up with Kent.
So the agreement to part company for 2014 has only been thrashed out in the last five days, with MCN getting a tip-off about the split in a phone call on Tuesday.
Kent’s place next season will go to Spaniard Alex Mariñelarena and a statement from Tech 3 read: “The Tech 3 Racing Moto2 Team and Danny Kent have reached an amicable agreement for the British rider to leave the French-based squad at the end 2013. With four races of the 2013 Moto2 World Championship campaign remaining, the Tech 3 Racing Team remains fully committed and determined to helping Kent achieve the best results possible before he moves on to seek a fresh challenge next season.
The Tech 3 Racing Team and its staff wish to place on record its gratitude for Kent’s dedication to improving the French designed and built Mistral 610 machine and wishes him well for the future. Joining the passionate and highly respected Tech 3 Racing outfit for 2014 will be Spanish rider Alex Mariñelarena, who will partner German Marcel Schrotter. Mariñelarena has made five Moto2 starts and he enjoyed a breakthrough result at the Motorland Aragon track last time out when he scored his first World Championship points in 14th.
Impressed by his hunger for success and eagerness to learn and help progress the Mistral 610 project in 2014, the Tech 3 Racing Team is looking forward to working with the 21-year-old, who is currently second in the Spanish CEV Moto2 series with three wins to his credit.”
The Moto2 world championship resumes next weekend in Sepang at the start of a flyaway triple-header that also takes in Phillip Island in Australia and the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan.